Briefing

U.S. charges Huawei and CFO Meng Wanzhou with racketeering and corporate espionage

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The Department of Justice alleged the Chinese telecom offered employees bonuses to steal trade secrets from competitors, and also helped the Iranian government perform domestic surveillance. The 16-count indictment comes on top of charges Huawei and Meng, who is facing trial in Vancouver, are already up against, including bank fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. (The Logic)

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Talking point: The charges come at a tense time for China-Canada relations. Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, who were arrested after Meng, remain detained, and Canada has yet to make a decision on whether to ban Huawei. These charges come as the U.S. has hit setbacks on its attempts to convince its allies not to work with Huawei on 5G. The U.K. has agreed to let Huawei participate in its non-core networks; Germany appears set to follow suit; and two Canadian telecoms are forging ahead with Huawei partnerships. On Tuesday, U.S. national security adviser Robert O’Brien said Huawei has secret backdoors it can use for spying, but provided no evidence for the claim, which the company denied. More difficulties could be coming soon, as the Pentagon is planning to reverse its opposition to a proposal limiting U.S. exports to Huawei.